THE CHANGELING TROUPE'S 1975 CONCEPT ALBUM INSPIRED THE 1977 SCREENPLAY THAT WAS OPTIONED BY CINE-MEDIA INTERNATIONAL, BUT NEVER PRODUCED. IN 1987, AN UPDATED SCORE WAS RECORDED AND THE REVISED SCREENPLAY WAS RETITLED MORNINGSTONE, SCOUTED AND PREPPED IN 1992 FOR PRODUCTION IN THE U.K. AS PART OF AN OTHERWORLD ENTERTAINMENT CORPORATION THREE-PICTURE PACKAGE THAT INCLUDED GRUMPUSS AND LONG-GRIN. OF THE THREE, ONLY GRUMPUSS WAS EVER PRODUCED. RELEASED IN 1998 TO CRITICAL ACCLAIM, IT WON AN INTERCOM SILVER PLAQUE FOR SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT - WRITING AT THE 1999 CHICAGO FILM FESTIVAL.
|Travis Edward Pike: Rhythm Guitar, Recorder and Vocals|
Marian Petrocelli: Keyboards and Vocals
Melodie Bryant: Keyboards, Recorder and Vocals
Ann Sanders: Vocals
Steve Pugliesi: Keyboards
Greg Bischoff: Lead Guitar
Phil Cataldo: Electric Bass
Ken Park: Drums and Percussion
Special Guest David Pinto: Emulator Pipe Organ
|Harlequin's Carnival (Opening)|
|The Peerless Goth|
|The Fool - Dog, Roebuck and Lapwing|
|Mad About You|
|Dance of the Nymphs and Gnomes|
|The Tomb of Every Hope--The Witch|
|Dialogue with the Goddess|
|Reprise of the Fool|
|Harlequin's Carnival Closing Theme|
The age of Aquarius underscored a period of experimental drugs and interest in popular occultism. In the early seventies, introductions often began with "I bet I can guess your sign." A wrong guess might still lead to a passionate discussion of popular nonsense, and such ice-breaker conversations with total strangers frequently led to invitations to share a "new and improved" consciousness-altering substance. Travis' first rock opera effort was a Theater of the Absurd look at that early seventies pop culture that yielded "Harlequin's Carnival," "The Peerless Goth," "Mad About You," "The Stranger," "Phantoms," "The Tomb of Every Hope," "The Witch," "Dialogue with the Goddess," and "Epilog."
Changeling, was still a work in progress when Travis began restructuring the stage production into a musical-fantasy-adventure for the screen, and his environmental themes dictated new songs and changes to the original ones. His early effort became the seed, fertilized by an experimental inter-disciplinary class at CalPoly, Pomona, that reawakened Pike's long-held concerns for the environment and provided a new theme for Morningstone. "The Witch" was abandoned in favor of "Witchy Stew," then intended to be the opening song for a televised May-Eve concert in a ruined abbey. "The Stranger" became a pop song performed by the protagonist, Morgen, at that concert, its lyrics and hypnotic rhythm underscoring the beginning of his mystical journey on that dark and rainy night, in which he falls asleep behind the wheel of a rented sports car and awakens in Morningstone, where Furies challenge him, Muses beguile him, and Fates still weave Man's destiny.
Changeling's "Dialogue with the Goddess" was replaced by "Sweet Mystery," Pike's first crack at a rock invocation of the goddess people condescendingly refer to as Mother Nature, while rendering her no genuine homage or obedience. The names of the godess featured in the song are more refined. In the original, Ruhe wasn't a goddess at all, but a German word meaning "Peace." The names of the four goddesses sung by the choir are Freyja, (Old Norse), meaning the Lady, a goddess associated with love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold, war and death. Janu is obscure, but may be a surviving local version of Jana, sometimes known as the goddess of hinges, whereas her husband, Janus, was the god of doorways, but required her assistance to operate. Ishtar, aka Astarte, is more easily recognized, another fertility goddess, but also a goddess of contrary forces, for some, the Queen of the Universe, and as Venus delighting in bodily love, protectoress of prostitutes. Danu, in Irish mythology, is the goddess of the Tuatha De Danaan (Old Irish, The peoples of the goddess Danu), an earth-mother goddess or the female principle, a fertility goddess of wisdom -- and of wind, which suggests she may be another form of the White Goddess, Cardea, from whose name we take the Cardinal points of the compass, a goddes of fertility, believed to have suckled the gods. Her name was borne by the legendary Tuatha De Danann ("People of the Goddess Danu") -- and "Denmark" translates as "Field of the Danes." By the time "Sweet Mystery" was recorded for Morningstone, the song opened with a large female choir performing the invocation, and Morgen and his chorus of Trashbabies (modelled on the Solid Gold Dancers), sweeping across the stage, singing vernacular verses in counterpoint to the Choir's Invocation of the Goddess.
In Changeling's, "The Dialogue with the Goddess" is spoken word, a modern iambic pentameter discourse between the hero and Mother Nature. The relationships between the goddesses and Mankind is at once more complex, revealing the depth to the relationship of civilized Mankind and Nature, and the threats facing civilization if Mankind doesn't overcome itsself-interest and greed and get with the program.
"Thoughts" could as easily been titled "After Thoughts." Travis had run out of money, and with only thirty minutes to try to record one last piece and clear out of the studio before the next session would arrive to start setting up, he called the Troupe together and asked them if they would do a one pass scratch track of the song he had been teaching them a few days earlier. The Changeling Troupe stood by him, ran through the song, packed up and got out of the studio in time to let the new musicians come in and set up for their session. And while they were settin up, Travis requested and got this rough mix of the scratch track so he could take it home to work on it. When Travis left, Ken Park was still out in the parking lot, surrounded by his percussion instruments, waiting for cartage to arrive. "Thoughts" never got into Changeling or Morningstone, but Adam saw it at the bottom of the box, and thought it might be good. Travis recognized it, and they started laying it down. Now called "Flying Snakes," it was first placed on the Outside the Box, CD, but is included here, because Changeling Troupe recorded the scratch track in 1975, and you will now be able to hear and compare it to the finished version posted on Youtube. It reveals a lot about Travis Pike, Adam Pike, and their process as they bring Travis' back catalog to light. All of these recordings were made more than forty years ago. Trash or treasure, now they're history.
|CHANGELING'S RETURN HOME||OTHERWORLD COTTAGE RETURN||NEXT|